Despite Risks, Pain Relievers Given OK
FDA Panel Says Vioxx Can Come Back, Celebrex, Bextra Should Stay
Weighing the Good and the Bad
Cox-2 drugs are favored by many doctors because they may be less likely to
cause stomach ulcers and bleeding than older anti-inflammatory drugs.
Experts ultimately struggled with a puzzle: Is the potential benefit of
fewer stomach problems worth the small but probable increased risk of heart
attacks? And which patients are at the highest risk for the drugs' potentially
Steven Nissen, MD, medical director at The Cleveland Clinic, said that
decisions on whether or not to take Bextra, Celebrex, or other drugs remain
"filled with shades of gray."
Wood says, "These issues are really difficult. We all wished we had more
data that would inform us better." He adds that patients taking any
anti-inflammatory drug should meet with their doctors to see if they are at
higher risk for adverse reactions.